I am all for equal treatment and respect for both genders. I have noticed though that sometimes an extreme form of feminism makes itself known in our society which is more about man bashing than it is about gender equality. To be honest I think some of us girls get so caught up trying to be strong and independant that we forget that men are actually pretty great.
I have been blessed to have had a number of great male role models in my life that have helped me grow in confidence as an intelligent and creative person. In fact my Aspergers was a mere afterthought for most of them or they just were unaware that I was aspie at all.
My dad is pretty darn cool. He is a pretty relaxed guy most of the time. When we would go on family holidays I remember they were often planned at the last minute. Dad preferred it that way which would drive me crazy but I learned that it’s ok to not always have a detailed plan. In fact life is often more fun when you leave a bit of space to go with the flow.
My dad also taught me to form my own opinions on things and don’t stress if I don’t fit in. Oh and he introduced me to the tunes of Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.
My year 6 teacher (who was one of only a couple of male teachers in my school) saw my potential in music and English and could see that I just wanted to fit in. I remember one day the class had to fill out a self evaluation form. We had to write down how well we thought we were doing with our school subjects. I wrote that I was average in every subject. I was terrified of thinking too highly of myself and becoming ‘up myself’. My teacher pulled me aside and asked we why I wrote down average for subjects that I excelled in. He encouraged me to see myself as I am and not worry about the other kids. After that meeting I was inspired to just be me.
My pastor for 13 years when I lived in Dubbo is a wise man. He was well aware of my oddness when I was in my teens but he shrugged it off with a side smile and a casual chuckle. I was and always will be Kate with rainbow socks. His words of wisdom I’ve written in countless notebooks and have been carried into my marriage. He is a strong leader with a soft heart. A real top bloke.
My lyrics lecturer at college was known for pulling apart student’s lyrics. I remember being so nervous the first time I showed him my lyrics. He looked over them smiled and said ‘good’. Not one word crossed out with red pen. That’s when I knew there was hope I could do the whole songwriting thing. His passion for arts I found very inspiring too. Again he didn’t know I was aspie until just before I graduated. He just saw my writing and what I could do. There was no hindrance. He has written a great book with his wife all about the creative mind. Check out the website here.
Then there was the man I fell in love with. My husband obviously knows my aspie issues but he can see past them. He encourages and encourages and encourages. He is a vocal coach and well before he was teaching voice he taught other instruments so he is hard-wired to teach. He is forever on my case to better myself, to keep creating, keep writing, keep practising. As much as it can be irritating I’m grateful that he won’t let me settle and get comfortable.
Also he is super snuggly 🙂
So there you have it. Some cool men who have influenced my life and how I see myself beyond the aspie label. Men are pretty great and I believe us women can keep encouraging men to be the best they can be. Lets encourage each other. That’s equality.